Sports Extra

Golf

Top-ranked amateur wins New Zealand Women’s Open

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – Top-ranked amateur Lydia Ko won the New Zealand Women’s Open on Sunday for her third victory in a professional tournament.

In an outstanding 13-month spell, Ko now has won the New South Wales Open to become the youngest player, male or female, to win a professional event, the Canadian Open to become the youngest-ever winner on the LPGA Tour, and now a professional tournament at home.

The 15-year-old Korean-born New Zealander approached the last hole in a tie for the lead with American Amelia Lewis at 10-under. But Lewis, in the penultimate group, three-putted from 25 feet for bogey, and Ko, playing in the last group, made par to complete a final-round 68.

Snedeker’s 9th 60s in a row has a share of Pebble lead

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Brandt Snedeker had his ninth consecutive round in the 60s. One more, and he really might have cause to celebrate.

Coming off consecutive runner-up finishes to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, Snedeker ran off four consecutive birdies along the prettiest part of Pebble Beach and wound up tied for the lead with 31-year-old rookie James Hahn in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. They were at 12-under 202.

Sterne and Fisher lead by 5 at the Joburg Open

JOHANNESBURG – South African duo Richard Sterne and Trevor Fisher Jr. each shot a 4-under 68 to move five shots ahead of the field at the Joburg Open on Saturday.

Both birdied the final hole for a 19-under total of 196 at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC.

Mediate fires course record in Champions Tour debut

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Rocco Mediate shot an 11-under 61 on Saturday, setting a course record and building a three-shot lead over Tom Pernice Jr. heading into the final round of the Allianz Championship.

Mediate is trying to become the 16th player to win his first start on the Champions Tour.

NFL

Rob Ryan’s 5 minutes are up: He signs in New Orleans

METAIRIE, La. – The Saints hired Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator and added Stan Kwan as an assistant special teams coach.

Saints coach Sean Payton, who announced the additions to his staff Saturday, said the Saints found Ryan’s defenses challenging when they played his previous teams. Ryan spent the last two seasons as Dallas’ defensive coordinator and was fired after last season, when his defense ranked 19th.

Soccer

Sermanni wins his U.S. debut as women’s soccer coach

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tom Sermanni coached the U.S. women’s soccer team to a 4-1 win over Scotland on Saturday, making the most of two first-half goals by Christen Press.

Shannon Boxx and Sydney Leroux also scored for the U.S.

It was quite the debut for Sermanni, who was born in Scotland and spent the last eight years as Australia’s coach. He was hired by the U.S. Soccer Federation in October.

Press figured in each of the Americans’ first three goals in the exhibition game, scoring twice and assisting on the third.

Tennis

Lepchenko levels the Fed Cup score at 1 against Italy

RIMINI, Italy – American Varvara Lepchenko won her Fed Cup singles debut to lift the United States to a 1-1 tie against Italy on Saturday.

Lepchenko rallied past Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 after Sara Errani defeated Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1.

Today’s doubles will feature Americans’ Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber against Nastassja Burnett and Karin Knapp. Lepchenko will play Errani in reverse singles.

Associated Press